- Short Crust Pastry:
- 1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.54 cm) pieces
- 1/8 to 1/4 cup (30 - 60 ml) ice water
- Butter Tart Filling:
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup (70 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (215 grams) light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) light cream (half-and-half) (10% butterfat)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup raisins or 1/2 cup currants or 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts (toasted and chopped)
Short Crust Pastry:
In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Pour 1/8 cup (30 ml) water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube until the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water. Do not process more than 30 seconds.
Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather into a ball. Flatten into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour before using. This will chill the butter and relax the gluten in the flour.
After the dough has chilled sufficiently, place on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and cut into 12 - 4 inch (10 cm) rounds. (To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards).) Gently place the rounds into a 12-cup muffin tin. Cover and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm up the dough. Next, make the filling.
Butter Tart Filling:
In a medium sized saucepan lightly whisk the eggs. Whisk in the butter, sugar, and cream. Place on medium heat and, stirring constantly, bring this mixture just to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. If using nuts and/or raisins, place about a teaspoon into the bottom of each tart shell and then fill the unbaked tart shells with the filling. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 15 - 20 minutes or until the pastry has nicely browned and the filling is set. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Makes 12 - 4 inch tarts.
Adapted from "The Best of Bridge - Royal Treats for Entertaining".